COVID-19 Vaccine Race Doc in the Works at CNN Films, BBC

COVID-19 Vaccine Trials
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The feature documentary on the worldwide quest to trial and release a vaccine to battle the pandemic will debut in spring 2021.

The global race for a vaccine against the COVID-19 virus has hatched a feature documentary from CNN Films and the BBC.

Billed as the inside story on the scientific journey to battle the Coronavirus pandemic, the film will air as Race For The Vaccine on CNN in the U.S, with CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta narrating.

The feature, which has had access to research scientists in the U.S., Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, will also land on BBC Two in the UK. That includes scientists behind the Pfizer/BioNTech and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) /Moderna vaccine research teams, and the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine candidate still in development.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has already begun a roll-out in the UK, prompting speculation around when life can begin to return to normal around the globe. The CNN Films and BBC documentary is produced by Wingspan Productions and Global Health Reporting Center, in association with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Tangled Bank Studios.

The documentary will be produced and directed by British filmmaker and former virologist Catherine Gale, and will be co-directed by American medical journalist and independent filmmaker Caleb Hellerman.

“How pandemics end depends so much on how they begin, so I wanted to tell the story of the scientists who were ready and waiting for COVID-19. The story of their race against time to develop vaccines, and the lessons we take from it, will shape the future for us all, so it’s never been more important that we dive into their world. I’ve been truly inspired by them,” said Gale in a statement.

Executive producers are Janet Tobias, Rogger Lopez , Archie Baron, Amy Entelis, Katie Hinman, Courtney Sexton, Tom Coveney, Sean B. Carroll and Jared Lipworth.

GHRC and Wingspan Productions retain the rights to the COVID vaccine race doc outside of the U.K. and North America.